If 2 people sign a lease and one person leaves, is the 1 staying in the house legally responsible for the rent even though the other person has not been taken off the lease?

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If 2 people sign a lease and one person leaves, is the 1 staying in the house legally responsible for the rent even though the other person has not been taken off the lease?

Asked on December 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, each person on the lease is responsible jointly and severally (read your lease on this language). This means each of you is legally responsible for his or her share but also for the total owed. So, for example, if tenant 2 leaves, and you are tenant 1, you still owe the total amount of monthly rent due and must seek contribution from tenant 2 in a separate lawsuit or settlement. The one who left is still responsible for the total due as is the person still living in the unit.  


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